My car sharing side hustle in October earned me $1,616 after expenses.

This was slightly higher than my profit goal of $150. Review my September’s earnings blog post here.

October Earnings Summary

Overall, it was a ‘hands-off’ month. There wasn’t much turnover, cleaning or moving cars since I had one long trip accounting for 16 days.

I received this specific reservation soon after listing my Mustang when my daily price was low. I didn’t have many reviews at the time. It was bittersweet to have my Mustang on the road for such a bargain. But at least it was generating revenue…

My X5 had one rental for 3 days which earned me $231.

October 2019 Profit and Loss – Car Sharing

My expenditures were low. 

I set up a new Fastrak toll account to stay better organized between Turo and personal trips.

Requesting reimbursement for tolls is currently a manual and tedious process. If anyone knows of a way to automate this please let me know. I haven’t figured out how to make this work with StreetSmarts.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t experience any claims or issues.

Goals For Next Month

From a maintenance perspective, I plan to personally change the cabin and engine air filters. Wish me luck. It’s not an expensive job ($20 for a cabin air filter).

I’m aiming to have my Mustang on the road 50% of the time in November. I expect my convertible to experience a slowdown in reservations during the winter months. However, I made a point in my Turo listing to mention that San Francisco’s average temperature is between 64 and 51 degrees Fahrenheit. 

NorCal Area and Highs/Lows (Fahrenheit):
Marin = 64° / 47
Big Sur = 66° / 46°

Why not rent a convertible!

On the flip side, I predict rentals for my BMX X5 to pickup. 4-wheel drive and SUV’s are in demand for ski season, Tahoe trips, etc. 

Revenue Guidance for November:

Mustang: $750 
BMW X5: $500
Total Revenue: $1250

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To a great November!

September is one of the best months to visit San Francisco. Little fog and warm days.

My car share earnings in September was similar, a little foggy and warm, but not hot. Here’s how it panned out.

EARNINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 2019 CAR SHARING.

I’m reporting $1,695 in earnings for September on 1.5 vehicles. Remember that my Mustang convertible is a full-time Turo rental whereas my BMW X5 is mostly a weekend rental car.

That was a decrease of 17% from last month. I’ll explain shortly.

Revenue hit a record high of $3,005. Unfortunately, expenses also came in higher than last month at $1,310.

September Profit and Loss

There were two notable events for my September:

  1. A guest incurred a $700 towing and fine. I wrote about that here.
    • This drastically increased my revenue (+18% MoM, month over month)
    • Expenses jumped 152% even though most of that was for reimbursements (tows, fines, tolls, fuel, etc.). Accounting note: Moving forward I’ll itemize ‘reimbursed costs’ by using a different category.
  2. I had the oil changed for both of my vehicles. That total cost was $180.

Utilization for the month was strong. I had 23 rental days for my Mustang which was 2 less than August.

Mileage stayed relatively constant at 3986 miles. The average reservation used only 50% of the allocated miles.

STRATEGY NOTE.

Using last month as a guide I decided to increase my ‘included distance’ to 200 mi/day and 1000 mi/wk. The play here is that this relieves an obstacle from the guest perspective. No need to map out distances before reserving. Guests worry less about exceeding mileage allowances. As the host I can charge a premium.

THE POSITIVES.

The bright spot for September was that average revenue per day increased 58% MoM to $93. This is huge. In other words I was able to slightly increase prices while keeping demand or utilization relatively constant.

The excellent 5-star reviews are crucial for charging a premium over competitors. Reviews should be viewed as ‘social currency’. They shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a clear path to differentiating yourself in the ‘sea of sameness’.

Are you providing excellent customer service? There are clear best practices when it comes to generating 5-star reviews. I’m happy to connect to discuss strategies for standing out from the crowd.

HOW DID I DO?

I missed my earnings goal by about $800. My excuse: some of my September reservations were confirmed early on when my Mustang didn’t have many reviews. As a result, guest’s locked in low daily rates during this ‘review building time’.

Speaking of reviews, they were strong. I received 10 five-star reviews for September, beating my goal of 8.

I implemented higher mileage limits successfully (so far). The majority of my reservations don’t come close to the trip mileage allowance (mileage utilization is still around 50%).

Zero accidents or claims (other than a towing).

September Comparables

THINGS TO WORK ON.

I haven’t had the time to research adding a third vehicle to my fleet. I want to bump this up in my priority list. Winter is coming. SUV’s are popular in my market with Tahoe just four hours east. In fact, as I write this my X5 is on a trip there.

Depreciation is a major cost center with car sharing. I plan to dedicate more research in this direction. My goal is to incorporate depreciation into these monthly results. Right now you can see that I’m just accounting for cash-in and cash-out.

Eccentric and essential ‘extras’. Alliteration aside, I’m planning to be more thoughtful on the extras that I offer. My goal is to increase extras per reservation. I have a few ideas. Expect a full blog post dedicated to just this topic.

Improve vehicle photography. I think there’s room for improvement with my vehicle pictures. I’m a big believer that great pictures help tremendously. I’d like to incorporate more ‘action’ or ‘lifestyle’ imagery in my photos to create more ‘emotion’ from prospective guests. The effect should be more reservations (and hopefully higher average prices).

Goals for Next Month.

Earnings: $1,500 (guiding lower)

I’m guiding lower since my Mustang has a 16-day reservation next month (October). You might think “that’s great, why are you guiding down?”

The issue is that this reservation was made early-on when my car was new, with few reviews and pricing set low (purposefully). In other words, this guest made out since they locked-in really competitive rates. The good news is that my car will be on the road and generating income for at least 16 days of the month.

High utilization rate: 80%+

I’m expecting to add reservations at the end of October. One advantage of a long reservation is that there’s less turnover. This translates into more time that the vehicle can be generating income. And less labor hours on my end!

IN SUMMARY.

September was a slight down month but strong fundamentals are showing. Those include high utilization, higher average revenue per day and relatively low mileage utilization. The 5-star reviews continue to roll in. My operations and ‘vehicle turnover’ process is working out well.

While I’m guiding lower for October (see my rationale above) I’m confident that Q4 won’t be a major flop due to seasonality. The SUV should help hedge some of that risk. And the fact that convertibles in Northern California should still perform OK. Barring any unexpected snow that is… stay tuned.

If you’re interested in learning more about car sharing and how you can generate monthly income with your automotive assets please get in touch.

If you’re an experienced host and want to reach the next level with your fleet let’s discuss resources available to you.

Until next time.

-j

Goodbye Fogust. Summer is finally here (in San Francisco) and my August earnings for Turo car share hosting are in.

Summer fog in San Francisco
Summer fog in San Francisco

August was a terrific car sharing hosting month for a few reasons:

  • Record monthly earnings
  • No accidents or claims
  • 100% 5-Star Reviews
  • High utilization – Possibly too high (more on that below)

Quick note, my Ford Mustang is a dedicated Turo car share vehicle. My BMW X5 is my primary driver and mostly available on Turo for car sharing on the weekends when I’m not using it.

August Turo Earnings Highlights:

August Earnings: $2,035 

Rental Days: 33

Ford Mustang has 17 lifetime completed trips and 13 reviews 

BMW X5 has 16 lifetime completed trips and 15 reviews

August Turo Recap – Mustang
Days Utilized25
Total Miles3784
Miles Per Day151
Average Miles Used:54%

The Mustang accumulated 25 rental days which is a 81% utilization rate (25/31). That’s high. 

One tweak I’ll make here is to slightly increase my pricing. 

The tricky part is that I won’t immediately see the effect. That’s because the Mustang already has a 96% utilization rate for September. Yes, that’s really high but the point is the new pricing only affects future reservations. That means October at the earliest unless a guest cancels for September.

Understand that your pricing strategy for a new Turo car share vehicle should probably be different in the first month or so until you receive sufficient ‘social-proof’. After sufficient five-star reviews, high utilization rates, etc. you can expect to slightly increase your daily rates. 

August is the third month for my Mustang.

Pricing strategy is very important and an entirely separate blog post.

One last point before reviewing August earnings. The average reservation used only 54% of the allocated miles. After learning this I decided to change my daily distance from 200 to 250 miles. I made the increase after experiencing two consecutive months of roughly 50% reservation mileage utilization. 

I hope this achieves two things: differentiates my car from the others and allows me to command a slight price premium. My theory is that guests stress about mileage limits when making reservations. Can you see yourself mapping out distances before reserving a car?

Going above and beyond the allocated miles incurs a significant cost to the guest. More on this strategy in a future post.

Now I’ll break down my August profit and loss statement for both the Ford Mustang and BMW X5.

Profit and earnings statement - August - Turo

Sidenote: I’m mostly happy using Wave as my accounting software. It’s like Mint.com but for small businesses. And it’s free.

Net Profit, meaning after all my expenses, was $2,035. Keep in mind that this number would be higher if my BMW X5 was a dedicated car share vehicle.

Starting from the top-line, my Turo earnings totaled $2,554. 

Fuel, cleaning, toll and mileage reimbursements totaled $349.61. The bulk of this was from one guest surpassing their trip mileage by 415 miles. 

Keep in mind that Turo keeps 30% of mileage overages (Standard Host Protection Plan).

Expenses, fuel and maintenance costs totaled $183. Sometimes guests fail to replace fuel. It’s frustrating that Turo doesn’t allow hosts to charge an ‘inconvenience fee’. There’s really no incentive for a guest to replace the fuel (other than a host giving a negative review). Be sure to upload the fuel receipt.

Let’s wrap up expenses. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I got another parking violation. San Francisco parking police are intense and good at their jobs! What can I say. We’ll chalk this up to the cost of doing business.

My car wash subscription was $39.99. 

Total operating expenses of $335.

Subtracting operating expenses from gross profit leaves $2,035 in net profit for August. A monthly record high!

August Earnings Summary:

August was a record month. I reached a monthly earnings high of $2,035. All of my guests were great. They treated my cars good (no accidents or claims). No mechanical issues.

Positives:

  • Fogust in San Francisco is historically a busy tourist time. My Mustang experienced high utilization (maybe too high). 
  • I gained additional 5-star reviews and completed trips.
  • Record high earnings of $2,035 after expenses with 3800 miles driven.

Things to work on:

  • Pricing strategy since August and September (estimate) utilization is high
  • Research adding another vehicle
  • Monitor higher mileage limits

Forecast:

  • September will be a record earnings month ($2500)
  • Receive 8 five star reviews
  • Purchase another dedicated car for Turo car share hosting 

How did I do?

Are you ready to start generating monthly income? Want to reduce your cost of car ownership? 

I’m happy to provide coaching, guidance and tips (free of charge). Car share hosting is a fun hobby for me. 

Get in touch.

The numbers are in. I want to review my financial performance on Turo for July.

My goal is that this transparency motivates you to at least explore car sharing on the Turo platform. I’m happy to help you get started, just get in touch.

If you prefer to watch a video then you might like this:

Before we dive in

  • My earnings include 2 vehicles. However, my BMW X5 is only part-time on the Turo platform. The Mustang is a full-time Turo rental vehicle.
  • I purchased the Mustang in June so keep in mind the low Turo reviews for that car. July was essentially my first full month hosting on Turo.
  • Lastly, I was awarded the ‘All-Star Host‘ badge in July.

The Analysis

My revenue for July was $1433 for both cars.

July Recap:
Days Utilized26
Total Miles July:2764
Miles per Day106
July Average Miles Used:59%

As you can see, my cars were on the road almost every day in July. My fleet accumulated 2764 miles or 106 miles per day. I further break that down to roughly 60% of allocated miles per reservation were used. So, if a trip had 1000 miles attached, a guest on average used only 600 miles.

I suspect ‘miles utilized’ will be an important metric for me down the road. I can see a scenario were I offer my Mustang with Unlimited Miles. This would increase marketability. I could also technically charge a higher daily price which would set me apart from my competitors and remove the pricing war competition. More on this strategy later.

The Summary

July was an OK month. It’s summer which tends to be busier but my Mustang was brand new on the Turo platform.

August is shaping up to be a terrific month (as is September and even October). I’m looking forward to reporting August numbers shortly.

How do you think I did?

How did you do?

Ready to start hosting on Turo? Get in touch and I’d be happy to guide you.